Monday, June 28, 2010

It's Monday Again?

Here's the plan for this week:

Monday:  Pasta--At the last minute I made this recipe with a few substitutions, and it was really easy and good!  I loved that it was a one dish meal!
Tuesday:  Stuffed Mexican Shells
Wednesday:  Honey Lime Chicken Wraps
Thursday:  Black Bean and Corn Quesadillas--This meal has been on the menu before, but I've never actually made it.  I'm not sure the kiddos will love it, but it looks yummy to me.
Friday:  Burgers on the grill
Saturday:  Monterey Jack Chicken
Sunday:  I Love America--an amazing July 4th event our church sponsors.  We'll be grabbing something to eat out there.  

Have a great week everyone! 

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Hermie: Who is in Charge Anyway--Review

In this 30 minute DVD, God teaches Freddie the flea that even the smallest of God's creatures is special and God has a specific purpose for everyone.  This video incorporates flashbacks from previous Hermie videos.

My 3 year old loves Hermie, so when this DVD appeared in the mail, she was very excited.  Both she and my 5 year old enjoyed watching this episode, and I appreciated the lesson that no matter how unimportant our job/life/duty may seem at times, God has a purpose for us in every season in which we find ourselves:  an important reminder at any age.

While Thomas Nelson provided this copy for review purposes, the opinions are my own.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Menu Planning Monday

Well, I haven't posted our weekly menu for a couple of weeks; our summer schedule has been somewhat busier than I expected.  I'm learning that I really need to season my expectations with a measure of reality, which is unreasonably difficult for me to manage.  :)

On the menu this week, we have:
Tuesday--Crockpot Cream Cheese Chicken
Thursday--Black Bean and Corn Quesadillas
Saturday--Eating out
Sunday--Blueberry Pancakes and eggs

Here's one of our favorite pancake recipes:

1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tbsp. sugar
1 tbsp. baking powder
1/2  tsp.  baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt

1 large egg, fork-beaten
1 1/2 tbsp. cooking oil
2 cups buttermilk

Stir first 6 ingredients together in bowl.

Add remaining ingredients.  Stir just to moisten.  Add a bit more milk if needed for a thinner pancake.    Makes 14 pancakes.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Book Review: Ransomed Dreams by Sally John

Sally John's novel, Ransomed Dreams, tells the story of Sheridan Montgomery, the wife of the U.S. ambassador to Venezuela, whose life changes in an instant when an assassin murders her colleague and seriously injures her husband. As Sheridan and Eliot, her husband, attempt to redefine normalcy in the wake of their emotional and physical handicaps, Sheridan's high-profile, politician father dies, triggering further scandal that shakes Sheridan's faith and her relationships.

Although this novel opens with suspense and drama, the heart of the book focuses on the evolution of relationships through different seasons of life and the ways in which faith better equips us to persevere through relational difficulties.  When relationships take the forefront in the novel, the elements of suspense fade, only to reappear later in moments of heightened drama, making the pace of the novel a bit uneven.  I did, however, think that John tackles some interesting issues about marriage and commitment, making the book worth the read.

Tyndale provided me with a copy of this book for review purposes, but the opinions expressed are mine.  

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Book Review --Billy Graham: His Life and Influence--by David Aikman

In Billy Graham: His Life and Influence David Aikman contextualizes Billy Graham's rise as "America's Pastor" within the changing historical, political and religious climate of Graham's life.  While Aikman touches on Graham's personal life, this book settles on the intersection of Graham's religious and political rhetoric, tracing changes in Graham's viewpoint and style across his lifetime.  Aikman depicts the trajectory of Graham's theological rhetoric as "softening" and illustrates this with examples from Graham's approach to theology and communism, among other issues.

I enjoyed Aikman's account.  He depicts the experience-rich history of Graham's life in a manner calculated to provoke a thoughtful understanding.  While Aikman does point out the controversy attendant to the shifts in Graham's thinking, he does so in a way that is sensitive to Graham's immense--and largely positive--legacy on Christianity and on the world at large.  If you are interested in the life of Billy Graham or in a deeper understanding of Christianity's impact on recent American politics, this is definitely a worthwhile read.